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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, July 11, 2013

50 golden years
of love and light

The love story of Frankie and Lita Cruz spans 50 years of love and light. It has withstood the test of time, which is truly amazing in this age of “instant gratification” where couples break up so easily over the flimsiest reasons.

And so on a lovely evening recently, the couple celebrated their 50 th wedding anniversary at the grand ballroom of Sugarland Hotel in Bacolod City, attended by members of their family and close personal friends. Guests dressed up in their elegant best complete with ‘blings' and were warmly greeted by the couple's kids, Jenna and Kerr.

I was doubly delighted to see my dear, dear friend, Tita Elena Siocon Miñana (Lita's mom), 95, who is still active and strong despite her age. Everyone excitedly greeted Columban priest Brian Gore, who came to celebrate the wedding anniversary mass and who, incidentally, was also celebrating his 45 th Sacerdotal anniversary.

Suddenly, the music blared and there they were – the golden couple! Guests greeted them with resounding applause as Lita, stunning in her pale gold beaded evening gown of Indian silk, walked down the aisle with her handsome groom, Frankie, who only had eyes for her all evening (or all 50 years?).

Fr. Brian's homily was full of reminiscing about the dark days during the Martial Law, when his close friendship with Frankie began. He recalled how Frankie and his group of lawyers defended “pro bono”, Fr. Brian and his co-accused, the “Negros 9”.

Later, Lita repeated her marriage vows to Frankie saying, “I will love you longer than forever”. It was an achingly poignant moment.

Dinner was a scrumptious variety of gustatory pleasures that everyone enjoyed to the max. The video presentation of the couple's love story was so romantic, eliciting sighs from the ladies present. Family members gave their all in their performance, delighting the audience with their talents. But the biggest surprise was when Frankie serenaded his bride with their theme song, “Some Enchanted Evening”.

What an enchanting evening it was, indeed!*

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